Sorry: real world news, which I usually try to avoid, intrudes today.  It seems appropriate.  Back to more pleasant topics tomorrow, I promise.

As many who read the blog know, I live in Minnesota, the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area specifically.  Obviously, the I-35W bridge collapse yesterday hit relatively close to home… it’s a fair distance away, essentially the other side of town, but I have had occasion to cross over that bridge myself many times.  Given that it is near the University, I have had 2 siblings and many friends that crossed it daily, for years.  A bit jarring, that.

I spent a few anxious minutes checking on various family, friends, co-workers… everyone in my immediate circle that I know of is okay.  I hope all is the same for every one of you that live nearby (and everywhere else, for that matter).

It may seem odd, but it struck me how fortunate we are here, in many ways.  “The worst catastrophe in Minnesota history”… a bit of hyperbole, perhaps, but not all that far off either.  7 deaths (may that be the end of it, _please_), dozens of injuries… it could have been much worse.  No one flew out over a suddenly appearing crevace at 50 mph; it was 2 lanes (or 4, not quite sure on that point) of traffic, not 6 or 8; it was at the tail end of rush hour, not the heart of it (not that it makes much difference when the average speed of travel is “parked”.)

Not that devastating events don’t happen on occasion… the tornados that have ripped through various small towns on occasion (Saint Peter, home to my Gustavus Adolphus alma mater comes to mind), the Spring flooding that occasionally creates some headache and heartache (the Red River Valley flooding of 1997 sticks in my memory): but the death tolls are usually mercifully tiny, and the property damage largely can be quickly repaired (although never quickly enough).  The damage is usually localized, such that resources to assist are close at hand and can be quickly brought to bear.

Contrast that with a hurricane, an earthquake.

The whys and wherefores of the situation will no doubt become more clear in the coming days.  Hopefully the reason for the collapse can be isolated, and that knowledge used to make everyone else that much less likely to suffer the same.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.